Black Olives (Paperback)
Simon & Schuster, 9781416549611, 192pp.
Publication Date: September 3, 2011
Upon a chance sighting of her ex-boyfriend, Virginia does something most of us have only dreamed of. Unseen, she jumps into the back of his Jeep, and remains hidden all day, observing the man she once loved. She's compelled to complete her unfinished portrait of their breakup, and relive the magical thinking of their romance.
"I knew him by heart for ten years and he me," Vir-ginia reflects. "And now, only nine months later, I know nothing at all."
The novel unfolds over the course of one day, ping-ponging between Virginia's fear of discovery and the illicit thrill of "breaking and entering" into the life of her former lover.
Will she finally confront him, as she's longed to do since they parted? Will she slink away in defeat? Any woman who has ever lived and loved will find herself swept up in Virginia's mesmerizing journey.
Praise For Black Olives…
"Smart, sad, and funny, this compulsively readable novel examines later love and its discontents, demonstrating with wit and rue that breaking up is hard to do at any age." - Judith Viorst, author of I'm Too Young to Be Seventy: And Other Delusions and coauthor of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
"What is obsession? What is desire? What is pure lust? And what, what does love have to do with it? In prose as succulent as olives, Martha Tod Dudman attacks this eternal snarl, and the result is a hilarious, charming novel especially for women past forty who still insist on outrageous underwear, great sex, and new territory when it comes to living days of power and nights with men." - Honor Moore, author of Red Shoes
"The treachery of a trusted partner brings about the sudden disintegration of the victim's inner world, shattering those basic assumptions that have served to make life feel livable and safe. In Black Olives, Martha Tod Dudman tells the story of a woman who has come face-to-face with a highly dangerous, unstable universe-and she tells it in breathtaking prose." - Maggie Scarf, author of Secrets, Lies, Betrayals and Intimate Partners: Patterns in Love and Marriage
"The physical landscape of Black Olives is a small town in Downeast Maine, but the emotional landscape is that of the human heart. In particular, it is the female heart that Martha Tod Dudman so skillfully mines. If an author requires a literary vehicle to convey his or her story, then Dudman's literary vehicle is actually a Jeep Cherokee. I have always resisted the term 'page-turner' because of the hype that seems to lie behind the phrase. But this book, Dear Reader, is a page-turner, right up to its lyrical and surprising end." - Cathie Pelletier, author of The Funeral Makers and Running the Bulls